Will 2.4 Million Texan children’s loose access to both their parents ?
As of March 27th 2017 the 85th Texas legislature has introduced 8420 bills, statistically about half will be passed into law. According to Legiscan the third most viewed and followed bill is HB453, better known as the “equal parenting bill”. HB453 would put an end to the current presumption that, after parents separate or divorce, a child should live primarily with one parent, and visit the other parent a few times a month making the other parent a visitor in the child’s life. Instead, the presumption would be that the child should spend an equal amount of time with both parents.
This year alone 25 states across the country have introduced equal parenting bills, which proponents claim will align state policy with custody arrangements that are empirically proven to provide better outcomes to children and lower conflict custody battles. And just like every other year, the State Bar Associations oppose such legislation, either directly or through associated “lobbying arms”, such as the Texas Family Law Foundation. Proponents for the bills claim that the attorneys only want to maintain the status quo because it forces parents into high conflict costly custody battles. Opponents to the bill, the Texas Family Law Foundation, claim that non-custodial parents already get their kids almost 50% of the time so the bill is not needed. Also, they are worried that an equal parenting bill would cause more litigation for parents, which they are against despite continual litigation being the very reason of their revenue streams & income.
In Texas, after a bill is introduced, it is assigned to an initial committee where it either passes onto a scheduling committee by a majority vote or it dies in that committee. Currently HB453 is in the Juvenile Justice and Family Issues Committee (JJFIC) and has yet to have a vote. In fact, until things “cool down” the bills is officially on hold by the bill’s sponsor, Rep. James White. What’s going on? The lobbyist company against the bill have claimed that they have received death threats from a Texas Fathers’ Rights Facebook page, and further claim that there is an ongoing DPS investigation regarding the threat. Additionally, there have been reports that representatives at the capitol have been receiving threats over the phone by proponents of the bill.
However, on investigating those claims with the DPS , no such investigation was ever underway nor has a complaint/report by the lobbyist, Steve & Amy Bresnen, been submitted to the DPS. Additionally, although phone calls at the capitol are recorded, there has been no recording of any threats that have
been saved or produced.
The Texas Family Law Foundation (TFLF) is usually invited to the capitol to discuss with and advise the Texas legislature in matters of new family law legislation. They have advised the JJFIC that HB453 is not needed since parents already receive close to equal parenting times already in the state of Texas. The president of TFLF, JoAl Sheridan, has told the JJFIC that Texas’ Standard Visitation Order is “pretty close to 50/50” and that the non-custodial parent gets to have their child “47% of the time”. Another position taken by the TFLF is that proponents of the bill only want 50/50 in order to avoid paying child support. It’s important to note here that HB453 will not change child support. Child support is still assigned when parents have 50/50. Also, the TFLF claims it is concerned that equal parenting will cause an increase in court battles, which they are against.
Since 2007, members of Congress have been trying to pass equal parenting in Texas. But the bill has never even come up for a vote. Across the country, when an equal parenting bill does get a chance to get voted on, they usually do well. But special interest, like the State Bar Associations and special interest such as the Texas family law foundation usually “kill the bills in committee” before they even make it to the floor. Since this bill is the 3rd most viewed and followed bill in Texas, it seems the people of Texas are not getting their issues heard in the Texas legislature. Would special interests again dictate the future of 2.4 Million Texan children’s access to both their parents ?
We raise awareness about Parental Alienation and Hostile Aggressive Parenting. Help prevent this form of child abuse by making our local community, legislators, press & child friendly decision maker aware of this serious problem.
Jan NaiduPAAO-USA, Austin chapter.Volunteer9169053144cnet53@yahoo.com
|Children’s rights to parental access|
|Texas Father’s rights movement|
|HB 453 – children will have frequent and continuing contact with both parents|
Search Press Releases